6 Easy Tips to Optimize Your Resume For The ATS


Streamline your resume for success with 6 practical tips in this handy infographic and writing guide curated by Rezi experts!

Resumes are essential for any job search you do. 

But let’s be honest, creating an ATS optimized resume, which is designed with specific formatting and keyword strategies, is not exactly anyone’s idea of a good time. With so many conflicting pieces of advice, you might feel like you don’t know where to start or what to do. 

That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you.

In this guide, we’re giving you 6 easy tips on how to optimize your resume for the ATS, as well as what not to do. We’ve condensed it into one infographic as well to give you an easy-to-follow resume outline to amaze your recruiters. 

Ready for a resume revamp and to land the job of your dreams? Read on below!

What is an ATS Optimized Resume?

An ATS optimized resume is specifically tailored to ensure it can pass through applicant tracking systems (ATS) used by many employers. It includes relevant keywords, clear formatting, and strategic content placement to increase the chances of your resume being seen by human recruiters after it's initially scanned by the ATS.

According to HRnews, 99% of organizations filter all resumes coming from applicants. For hiring managers, it makes their job easier as it’s more effective and saves them time by ruling out unqualified candidates.

The question is, how do you optimize your resume in order to get past these machines? Let’s move on to our 6 simple ATS-friendly resume tips below!

6 modern resume optimisation infographic - Contact, summary, experience, targeted skills section, one page resume
6 ways to optimize your resume with Rezi

How to Create an ATS Optimized Resume in 6 Simple Steps

In today's digital job market, the first hurdle job seekers often face is getting their resume past the ATS - the gatekeeper of the modern hiring process. But fear not, as we've crafted this step-by-step guide to help you navigate the intricacies of ATS optimization. In the following section, we'll walk you through six straightforward yet highly effective steps that will empower you to create an ATS-optimized resume, increasing your chances of making it to the interview stage and securing your dream job.

1. Don’t waste space with a big contact section

The contact section should be one line long to save space for important information on your other resume sections such as your what to write in a resume for work experience. Don’t stretch it too far and keep it concise by only including the details that are necessary for the employer!

Keep it neat and tidy with the following:

  • Full name
  • Your LinkedIn profile
  • Email
  • Cellphone number

2. Title your sections intentionally

When it comes to creating an ATS-optimized resume, the choice of section titles can make a significant difference. Instead of using overly creative or ambiguous titles, opt for straightforward and universally recognized headings. For example, use "Work Experience" instead of "Career Journey" and "Education" rather than "Academic Voyage."

These standardized section titles are not just beneficial for ATS systems; they also provide clarity and ease of navigation for human readers. A hiring manager or recruiter can quickly locate the information they're seeking when you use familiar section titles.

Another good example of being intentional with your resume is using white space strategically to highlight key points. 


3. Use keywords — otherwise, fewer or no interviews

The importance of incorporating relevant ATS keywords into your resume cannot be overstated. ATS systems rely on these keywords to match your qualifications with the job requirements, making them a pivotal aspect of ATS optimization. Neglecting keywords can result in your resume being filtered out and receiving fewer or even no interviews.

To identify the right keywords, start by thoroughly examining the job description. Highlight keywords, phrases, and qualifications the employer values. These are often specific skills, certifications, software, or industry-related terms.

Integrate these keywords naturally throughout your resume. Include them in your resume objective, skills section, work experience, and anywhere else that's applicable. However, be sure not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing can raise red flags for both ATS systems and human reviewers.

4. Include additional work experience 

Only do this when it’s relevant. If you can’t make it relevant whatsoever, you may be better off omitting it from your ats resume.

However, nearly all job seekers have experiences outside the workplace such as:

  • Volunteering
  • Side-projects and coursework
  • Certifications
  • Internship
  • Training 

We only suggest adding these experiences if they demonstrate relevance to a requirement of the job description.

5. Include Your Relevant Skills

At Rezi, we’ve had over 1,500 resumes reviewed. One of the key takeaways of seeing such diverse resumes is this: 

Competitive job seekers have deep, transferable skills.

Here are some examples of top skills to include in your ATS optimized resume:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork

The less competitive job seekers have fewer and more common skills that hiring managers can find from almost anyone. If you have any other relevant skills that aren’t too common, use it to your advantage!

Rezi's resume builder targets keywords, ranks content and formats your exprience!

6. A one-page resume is enough

A one-page resume is often enough for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it forces job seekers to focus on their most relevant and impactful experiences, which is particularly crucial in today's competitive job market. Hiring managers often have limited time to review applications, and a concise one-page resume ensures that your most important qualifications are front and center. It compels candidates to highlight their standout achievements, key skills, and qualifications, leaving no room for unnecessary information.

Secondly, a one-page resume is highly reader-friendly. Hiring managers appreciate the clarity and brevity of a one-page document, as it allows them to quickly grasp a candidate's suitability for the role. In contrast, lengthy resumes can overwhelm the reader and dilute the impact of essential information.

What Is The Best Resume Template for ATS?

We specialize in helping our users get past the ATS, land an interview, and secure a new career. Our ATS resume templates will help you overcome the first obstacle in the hiring process by giving you the format you need as well as a list of things you need to include. 
Let’s break down our Database Administrator ATS optimized resume sample that got our candidate hired at Georgia Tech:

Rezi Resume Template
Rezi Resume Template

This ATS resume example is a simple yet effective template and format for both the ATS and a human reader. They’ve also included weak action verbs resume into their application to highlight their skills and strengths. 

As recruiters skim through their application, they’ll find resume buzzwords to avoid along the way too.

To see our ATS-optimized resume tips in action, let’s have a look at how each concept has been applied in the example above:

  1. The contact section is only one line long, containing only the essential details
  2. Each resume section has been titled in a way that’s relevant to the job position. In the education section, you’ll notice how I.T, tech, and admin keywords are included
  3. ATS keywords have been embedded throughout this ATS resume such as data analytics, administration, etc.
  4. Additional work experience has been included under the “projects” resume section
  5. All the relevant skills have been clearly outlined at the bottom 
  6. The resume length is exactly one page long

We have more ready to use resume templates - great news is, all of them are ATS-compliant!

As they’re all designed to overcome the applicant tracking system, you only need to focus on writing the content of your resume. We’ve taken care of the ats resume format for you so you don’t have to!

Rezi scores your resume based on keyword targets, format & more!

Common ATS Resume Pitfalls

While ATS systems can be your best friend in landing that dream job, they can also be your worst enemy if you're not mindful of their quirks. Here are some of the most common ATS resume pitfalls to watch out for:

1. Incorrect File Formats: ATS systems have preferences when it comes to file formats. Stick to common types like .docx or .pdf, as these are generally more compatible. Avoid less common formats that might not be recognized.

2. Using Fancy Templates: Elaborate templates, fancy fonts, and complex designs might look visually appealing, but they can confuse the ATS. Stick to clean, simple layouts for your resume.

3. Images and Graphics: While a photo on your resume might seem like a nice personal touch, ATS systems are not equipped to analyze images. Avoid including photos, graphics, or logos on your resume.

4. Tables and Text Boxes: ATS systems may struggle to interpret content within tables and text boxes. If you use these elements, your resume's content might be misread or overlooked.

5. Keyword Stuffing: While using keywords is essential, overloading your resume with them can backfire. It can make your resume appear spammy and harm your chances of passing ATS screening.

6. Using Headers and Footers: Important information placed in headers or footers can be missed by ATS systems. It's best to keep crucial details within the main body of your resume.

What is The Purpose of ATS in Resume?

Recruiters will use an ATS to assess candidates. As companies tend to receive a large volume of applicants, using this HR software allows them to save time by narrowing down the list based on who is most qualified and who matches the job description. That means they can focus on only hiring those that meet their requirements. 

Optimizing Your Resume For The ATS With Rezi 

Follow our resume tips and you’ll build a powerful, ATS-friendly resume that will get you an interview. 

It’s easier when you start by using an ATS resume template and seeing what has worked for others. Taking that inspiration and using those ideas for your own helps you speed up the resume writing process as well as increase your chances. 

The main thing to remember is including the keywords and skills to show you’re competent enough for the job vacancy.

Anything additional that’s relevant and shows you’re qualified is a must! 

We understand that building a tailored resume every time you make a new application isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve made it easier for you with our AI keyword targeting tool and ATS templates. 

We’re trusted by over 120,000 job seekers. Every time a user builds a resume with Rezi, they have a 62.18% chance for an interview!

In short, watch the video below to see how it works:

It takes less than a minute!

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Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a career writer and editor who has helped hundreds of thousands of job seekers build resumes and cover letters that land interviews. He is a Rezi-acknowledged expert in the field of career advice and has been delivering job success insights for 4+ years, helping readers translate their work background into a compelling job application.

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